The Impact of a Prenuptial Agreement on Divorce
The general idea of a prenuptial agreement is that the spouses agree upon terms of separation and title of property before a marriage begins. In essence, the document almost works like a contract in that the spouses voluntarily agree to terms that bind them later on if the trigger event, a divorce, occurs in the future. However, there is no payment or exchange of services going on, at least officially. Some critics argue that a prenuptial is a trade-off between a clean, no-fuss divorce benefit for the benefit of marriage, but that’s more of a philosophy issue than legal.
The use of a prenuptial agreement is often a choice taken by parties who have a significant amount of income, assets and wealth prior to a marriage occurring and want to ensure that ownership is protected and stays theirs versus becoming community property. Other clients want to make sure their future income remains theirs, begin in an occupation already prior to the marriage that clearly provides them sizable and well-known earnings. The idea of the prenuptial agreement was created as a defense to quick marriages where the well-to-do were finding themselves duped in marriages that ended only a few months later and then in a costly divorce.
Florida treats prenuptial agreements as valid terms on a marriage, but that doesn’t mean the door is shut on them once signed. A lot of their success or failure depends on the actual agreement terms written and how they are followed during a marriage. For example, using a boilerplate template from an online source or quick pre-written version at an office store and is a sure way to miss a lot of important details not crafted in the generic language. Because of this risk, the presence of a prenuptial agreement practically invites a contested divorce as most attorneys are going to challenge the language for weaknesses to obtain a better position for their client in a divorce. Additionally, if a party hid assets from the prenuptial agreement, a spouse was coerced or under duress to sign it, or there is an apparent unfairness about the document, the court can be petitioned to overturn the prenuptial agreement altogether–ultimately eliminating its protections.
The key to a successful prenuptial agreement in Plantation or Naples is to work with an experienced attorney in crafting the terms. The agreement should be comprehensive, detailed and in the hands of one’s attorney months before the marriage actually happens. This ensures the best coverage and success of an agreement should it be challenged down the line. Our offices can handle such cases, providing you professional guidance and advice on how best to craft a prenuptial agreement for your needs.